Stephen Lawrence accused 'may have visited attacker'

 

One of the men accused of murdering Stephen Lawrence may have picked up traces of forensic evidence when visiting one of the attackers, a court heard today.

Forensic scientist Roy Green told a jury at the Old Bailey that one of the scenarios he considered during his research was that David Norris had visited one of the killers and picked up fibres on his clothes.

A team of experts found six green fibres matching Mr Lawrence's trousers and one matching his T-shirt linked to a sweatshirt seized from Norris' house.

Today Stephen Batten QC, for Norris, asked Mr Green: "What you postulated to yourself is that he might know one of the real assailants for example, and have gone round to their address?"

Mr Green said: "That was one of the scenarios that I considered, yes."

Yesterday the fibres expert told the court that he had also looked at the possibility that the sweater was washed after the attack.

But Mr Batten told him "you haven't a clue whether it was washed or not", and said he had only mentioned it because there were only a few fibres found.

Mr Green said: "It was offered as one of the many scenarios which I had considered."

The fibres were found distributed all over the sweatshirt, which Mr Green said might be due to the garment being moved around after it was seized.

He added: "We do have to remember that what we see here is what remains after other fibres have fallen off and so it doesn't necessarily give a completely true picture of what was originally there."

Norris, 35, and Gary Dobson, 36, deny taking part in the gang attack in which Mr Lawrence was killed in Eltham, south-east London, in 1993.

Mark Gatley, also for Norris, said that hairs with 13 different maternal DNA profiles were found on clothes seized from Norris' house.

Forensic scientist Deborah Hopwood agreed that the hairs could have got on to the clothing by both direct contact and indirect means.

Mr Gatley said: "The possibility exists then that these hairs may have accumulated on his clothes through secondary transfer as well as direct transfer."

She replied: "Yes there's a possibility of secondary transfer."

One hair, 2mm in length, that matched Mr Lawrence's maternal DNA - meaning that it came from him or a relative in the maternal line of his family - was found on jeans seized from Norris' house.

The court was told that there was no way of knowing if the hair got on to the jeans by direct contact between Norris and Mr Lawrence, or indirectly.

Mr Gatley said: "You couldn't exclude the possibility that it had originally been deposited from a different item of clothing and then had been transferred secondarily on to the jeans during the time prior to the recovery of the jeans by the police."

Mrs Hopwood replied: "Yes that's right."

The jury was told that Dobson, Norris and two other men not on trial, Neil and Jamie Acourt, had hairs from the same dog on their clothing.

In total on all the clothes seized from their homes there were hairs from 15 separate dogs, two cats and one pig.

On Mr Lawrence's clothing there were hairs from four cats, two dogs and one from a cow.

The jury was told that this suggested that the animal hairs could have been picked up on the clothing by indirect means.

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks